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Old 11-03-2012, 12:01 PM   #1
smittygouv30
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White labs prints a "best if used by..." date on their vials. But when entering information into Beersmith they want a "package date". In the past I have been just estimating dates to determine starter sizes because I don't know the exact package date. What do others do?

Example: I'll soon be making a starter of WLP001 California Ale. The best if used by date is February 2013. Anybody know about what this would equate to for White Labs packaging date? The package date drastically changes the viability of the yeast cells in the program, hence changing the recommended volume for my yeast starter as well.

Thanks for any and all help.

 
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:16 PM   #2
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I believe the packaging date is approximately 6 months earlier than the "Best by" date...
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:07 PM   #3
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It is 4months before the date on the vial.

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Old 11-03-2012, 01:36 PM   #4
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Yes, 4 months. If you read the fine print on the vial, it's there (I think it's the very last sentence, so you don't have to read all the way through).

 
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:37 PM   #5
TWAL
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Yeah Ok I F'ed up, I was trying to find the same info as well as be late for work at the same time.... (A little rushed)

 
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWAL View Post
That's impossible,I have a vial of wlp001 in the fridge that reads "Best before April 19-13" .Four months prior to that date is exactly two weeks from today that the yeast was packaged...
4/19 minus one month is
3/19 minus one month is
2/19 minus one month is
1/19 minus one month is
12/19 is four months before 4/19.


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Old 01-05-2013, 10:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeg View Post
4/19 minus one month is
3/19 minus one month is
2/19 minus one month is
1/19 minus one month is
12/19 is four months before 4/19.

'nuf said... I also think that they might pad it by a week, or two. Or some places are getting shipments in really fast, from production.

Either way, if you also use yeastcalc.com's tool, you'll see how much of a starter you should use with that production date. Also keep in mind, you don't need to toss it once it hits the 'best buy' date. Just means you'll need either a larger starter, or to add a step to the starter to get the count for the batch. I've used 10 month old White Labs vials before with this method with great results. Basically, the batch was in full on blow-off mode in under 8 hours from pitching.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
Also keep in mind, you don't need to toss it once it hits the 'best buy' date. Just means you'll need either a larger starter, or to add a step to the starter to get the count for the batch.
Yep, it's hard to keep a good yeast down.

It is a bit hard to know what your cell count is when you do this, though. I've not used an ancient vial, but I have a similar issue with some rinsed yeast that's been sitting around for a while. My solution is to be conservative, and use a two or three step starter, since that tends to reduce the sensitivity to the exact starting number.

The experts claim there can be other problems using old yeast, in terms of less than ideal fermentation characteristics, but I'm pretty sure that's in the noise for my brewing.

 
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeg View Post
Yep, it's hard to keep a good yeast down.

It is a bit hard to know what your cell count is when you do this, though. I've not used an ancient vial, but I have a similar issue with some rinsed yeast that's been sitting around for a while. My solution is to be conservative, and use a two or three step starter, since that tends to reduce the sensitivity to the exact starting number.

The experts claim there can be other problems using old yeast, in terms of less than ideal fermentation characteristics, but I'm pretty sure that's in the noise for my brewing.
I used a three step starter (in my 2L flask) for the batch with 10+ month old White Labs vials (two WLP099 vials for a big English BarleyWine). Decanted the spent starter wort, made it into a slurry and pitched it in. Even if it wasn't at the amount calculated, it took off so bloody fast it was great. Used the blow-off hose for the first 5 days (or so) then was able to change over to the airlock. Fermented for close to two months that way (lower temperatures and a 15.3% ABV target). I'm letting it settle before I transfer to aging keg. Sometime in the next week, or three, I'll transfer it over and put some oak in there.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeg View Post
4/19 minus one month is
3/19 minus one month is
2/19 minus one month is
1/19 minus one month is
12/19 is four months before 4/19.

Yeah Ok I F'ed up, I was trying to find the same info as well as be late for work at the same time.... (A little rushed)

 
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